I am a proud registered Independent. People tried to persuade me to change my affiliation to a registered Democrat for the sake of voting in the Colorado caucuses, but I resisted. I enjoy being an Independent. I have an aversion to group-think and to taking part in large groups. The very nature of a caucus is a group setting and I don’t enjoy taking part in groups when it comes to voting. I like to reach my own conclusions and vote my conscience instead of blindly having to follow Party allegiances or being forced to be a part of a group dynamic where people can pressure you to vote a certain way. Yes, I tend to support Democrat candidates. But I don’t identify as a Democrat. I identify as a progressive independent. And I enjoy my unaffiliated status as a voter. Identifying as an independent comes with it’s own set of benefits and drawbacks. The drawback is that unaffiliated voters cannot vote in the Colorado caucuses under state law. In some states, like Michigan, independents are allowed to vote in the primary process. But here in Colorado we independents are excluded from the process. This is the trade-off for being an independent. We don’t have a say in this step in the nominating process. But I’d rather be an independent and give that up than give up my status as an independent.
NPR had a great piece recently about how unaffiliated voters are changing politics. The article states that 39% of voters now are unaffiliated voters according to a 2014 analysis by Pew Research Center. The article states how in Colorado, unaffiliated voters outnumber Republicans and Democrats. And many of us unaffiliated voters in Colorado are under 35. I am part of this trend, at age 32, I am a member of this huge trend in Colorado voters. The millennial generation is tired of the two-party system and the dysfunction that exists in government and the two-party system.
I have predicted that Bernie Sanders will win the Colorado caucuses. It is almost 9pm and as of right now Bernie is leading 57.3% to Hillary Clinton at 40.7%. But the news networks are not making a call yet about who has won the Colorado caucus. Stay with me at NEVER POLITICS as the news develops. I will be live-blogging all evening as the results come in.
While we wait for results in the Democratic Colorado caucus, lets consider the GOP caucus for a moment. Mike Littwin over at the Colorado Independent has penned a great piece about why the Colorado GOP effectively has no Super Tuesday this year. It was cancelled by Colorado GOP officials wanting to tamp down on the anti-establishment wave in the 2016 election. This is a loss for democracy. While thousands of Colorado GOP voters still gathered at precincts across the state, the straw poll remains cancelled. The Republicans in Colorado are being effectively silenced.
Donald Trump’s rise was dismissed by the media. They wrote him off as a candidate who would fade out, but he is on his way to winning the nomination now. Trump has won 6 states tonight on this Super Tuesday. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight famously put Trump’s chances of winning the nomination at 1% last year. Nate Silver has egg on his face now. Nate is eating crow! Perhaps the GOP will find a way to stop Trump, but I don’t see how they can. And while the media dismissed Trump from the start, they have featured Trump heavily in TV, print, and radio coverage, so I think that the media has played a big role in Trump’s success. In fact, I’d go even farther and say that the media has created a monster. The media gets tons of ratings from Trump coverage so they have an incentive to cover Trump extremely closely. The media and Trump have a relationship the same way that oxygen feeds a fire; Likewise, the media feeds the Trump campaign. To me this is very scary. CNN might as well be the Trump-All-The-Time-Coverage-Channel now.
CNN has just made a projection and called the Colorado caucuses! Bernie Sanders has won the Colorado caucuses 58.3% to Clinton’s 40.7% Colorado came through for Bernie. Colorado’s progressives were excited and energized by Bernie’s message. I knew that Colorado would go for Bernie. (I made a prediction on Facebook that Bernie would take Colorado tonight.) Bernie has now won 4 states on Super Tuesday: Colorado, Vermont, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. Hillary Clinton swept the Southern states and has won 7 states so far this Super Tuesday: Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Massachusetts. I think that due to Bernie’s success tonight, he will stay in the race indefinitely. I can imagine Bernie staying in the race all the way up to the Democratic convention. His populist message clearly is resonating with voters, in the diametric opposite of Trump’s populist message. Tonight has been a great night for Clinton and Trump and a decent night for Bernie. Bernie’s success in states like Colorado and Oklahoma shows he has some traction and he is also getting some delegates. But I would have to say that Clinton has run away with the nomination and has flexed her dominance on this Super Tuesday. Hillary Clinton has amassed 296 delegates this Super Tuesday. Bernie Sanders has amassed 183 this Super Tuesday. So now, in total, Hillary Clinton has won 855 delegates and Bernie Sanders has 269 delegates. Remember, it’s a race to get 2,383 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.